What Was Missed?

| December 11, 2019

The main gate at Naval Air Station Pensacola is seen March 16, 2016, in Pensacola, Fla. (Patrick Nichols/Navy)

No, I won’t go into a scold here, but what was missed with the vetting/screening procedure that let that shooter slip through so easily?


Somebody missed something, somewhere. If not that, then once he came here on this student pilot program, what happened?

From the article:  WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Tuesday ordered a broad review of vetting procedures for international students who participate in training on U.S. military installations and demanded the process be strengthened, in direct reaction to last week’s deadly shooting at a Pensacola Navy base by a Saudi aviation student.

The memo signed by Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist also suspends flight and other operational training for all Saudi Arabian students in U.S. military programs. It follows a decision by the U.S. Navy to halt flight training for more than 300 Saudi Arabian students at the Pensacola Naval Air Station and two other bases in Florida.

The FBI confirmed Tuesday that the 21-year-old Saudi Air Force officer who killed three U.S. sailors and injured eight other people at the Pensacola base on Friday legally bought the 9mm Glock pistol he used. Investigators are digging into whether 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani acted alone, amid reports he hosted a party earlier last week where he and others watched videos of mass shootings. – article

So what did happen? Did someone miss something that might otherwise have barred Alshamrani from participating in this program? Or did he get a burr under his saddle after he came here?  No way of finding out now.


Category: Foreign Policy, International Affairs, Navy

Comments (30)

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  1. Combat Historian says:

    Don’t forget the hundreds of Afghan trainees who fled their CONUS bases and submerged into American society after they were brought here by oboobie’s DOD to train on MOS specialties. God knows how many of those are still on the lam, and how may of those are actually terrorists who had infiltrated into the ANA to do precisely this. The mind boggles…

    • Club Manager, USA ret. says:

      That program was actually a program to circumvent immigration quotas to provide English speaking employees for all of the many third world owned convenience stores across the land.

  2. fareed says:

    The media spin and DoD response doesn’t pass the sniff test:


    The Saudi terrorist checked in on Monday and seemed “normal”. He held the “dinner party” on Thursday night with more than 10 Royal Saudi Air Force Officers in attendance. At this party, they watched videos of mass shootings, mostly Islamic propaganda. The next morning, Friday, he systematically attacked building 633 while one of his fellow officers followed and filmed, several other Saudis waited and observed the attack from a car.

    The attacker started at the Quarterdeck (front desk), and the 3 killed were on duty at the time. Ensign Watson was the duty officer, was shot 5 times and still managed to call first responders and evacuate the building and personally direct them to the location of the shooter prior to dying of his wounds. The other 2 killed were also in the immediate vicinity of the quarterdeck. Many of the wounded were as well, some being wounded as they tried to climb out of windows.

    Per Navy policy, none had weapons to defend themselves with.

    The first responders that confronted the shooter were from the local sheriff’s department. Two were wounded in the gun battle, and the terrorist was killed. Three active duty Americans were dead, 8 more wounded, 2 deputies wounded. Many of the wounded were shot through the doors of classrooms on multiple floors of building 633. Most of the base remained on lockdown well into the afternoon as the base was systematically searched for the missing Saudi terrorists officers. By day’s end, 6 additional Saudi Arabian officers were in FBI custody, and several were at large in the community and a man-hunt is still underway.

    So, over a 5 day span, the terrorist checked in, acquired a handgun with 4 extended magazines and ammunition, posted a manifesto online condemning the US as a “nation of evil” along Islamist and anti-Semitic lines, planned and executed his attack with at least 3 accomplices. At least 10 Saudi Military Officers knew of the plan, and either participated or did nothing to stop it. Each one of these individuals had passed the screening process to come train in the United States. That brief recount of the chain of events begs a series of questions, some of which are easier to answer than others.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      Any chance the accomplices can be stood against a wall and used as ballistic penetration test subjects?

    • Bill R. says:

      Edit: So, over a 5 day span, the terrorist checked in, {LEGALLY} acquired a handgun with 4 extended magazines and ammunition, posted a manifesto online condemning the US as a “nation of evil” along Islamist and anti-Semitic lines, planned and executed his attack with at least 3 accomplices.

      Why would a Saudi officer, in this country for temporary duty, be able to legally buy a handgun and the associated extended magazines?

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    Two things were glaringly missed in my opinion. FIRST; the perps of the 911 attacks were Saudi and second, the avowed purpose of their religion is the death of all “non-believers.” Has the term “sleeper agent” been completely removed from any investigative process? These people are trained from birth to hate ALL “Infidels” and particularly, Americans. Those of our little band of miscreants, REMFs, Feather Merchants, POGs, and Warriors that have had multiple deployments know this quite well. Why don’t the “background” checkers? Looking at who was in charge of the State Dprt until recently, it is little wonder how some could slip thru the cracks. And I guess the background check on the purchase of a weapon slid thru because…”well hey, the Feds have already checked this dude out for pilot training, he must be ok.”

    Fort Hood ring any bells? Sadly, this type of incident will continue til we purge ALL of the members of the “Religion of Pieces” from our midst. YMMV

  4. USMCM says:

    It’s not just flight training that international students attend. They also attend the U.S. Army War College, Air War College, and various other professional level PME courses – all around the country. Exchange students from foreign military organizations certainly do need to be vetted more, lest one carry out an attack at one location and another decide to “copy-cat” somewhere else.

    Fucking savages. This fucking appeasement stems from handling people like Nidal Hassan with kid-gloves, and this is the result.

    • SFC D says:

      The Army Intel school has a pile of foreign students. This shooting makes them all suspect. Not their fault, but they’re all viewed very differently now.

  5. Comm Center Rat says:

    From the Navy Times article:

    “Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly on Tuesday posthumously awarded Wings of Gold to Ensign Joshua Watson, Airman Mohammed Haitham and Airman Apprentice Cameron Walters, the three sailors killed Friday by Alshamrani.”

    “Modly proclaimed Watson a naval aviator and Haitham and Walters as naval aircrewman, according to a Navy release.”

    Small comfort to the families and friends of the deceased sailors, but moving gestures nonetheless.

  6. ninja says:

    “Texas Naval Air Station On Lockdown, Suspect In Custody, Officials Say”


  7. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    If that Saudi National’s fellow Students knew his intentions and failed to report on it then I say that they need to be held accountable with an indefinite stay at lovely Club Gitmo!!!

  8. The Other Whitey says:

    Out of curiosity, what was this asshole’s background? Was he just a regular Saudi assbag, or was he some prince’s nephew? Did he slip through the cracks, or did he benefit from some higher-placed asshole concealing shit on his behalf?

  9. ninja says:

    I’m gonna say it.

    Have personally worked with Saudis and other Middle Eastern Officials.

    Not all of them are bad.

    Also went thru Military Schooling with Saudis and other Middle Eastern Officers.

    Just saying. Not justifying on what sadly happened in Pensicola or defending the actions of that Saudi Officer.

    • ninja says:

      Let us never forget what a Gulf War Veteran,Timothy McVeigh, did in 1995.

      Rest In Peace to those who lost their lives in the Oklahoma City Bombing, to include Children.

      • Fyrfighter says:

        Spot on Ninja, especially the RIP..

        That benign said, we own the actions of our citizens.. part of the risks of freedom… but there’s NO reason that we need to buy problems from the rest of the world. I’m sure you’re right that “they’re not all bad”, but what reason do we really have to run the risk? They want us to train em, we can send advisors to their countries, no reason to allow them into ours.

        • ninja says:

          Thank You, Fyrfighter!

          I do know that Foreign Students have been trained in our Military Schools for years, to include our Military Academies (West Point comes to my mind).

          Years=Years before the majority of us were born.

          I guess old habits are hard to break.

          Our Country has sent Advisors to other Nations as well to train them. Good examples are Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Philipines (misspelled), Thailand, etc. etc.

          We live in a great Country that others from different Nations WANT to come here. Our Military must be that strong that other Nations want to be schooled here.

          Perhaps we have been too generous on helping other Nations. As shared before, the UN and NATO need to step up to the plate and carry some responsibilty in assisting those Countries that ask for assistance. We need to take care of our own Military, our own Infrastucture, our own Citizens, our own Borders, our own First Responders

          Thank You, again, Fyrfighter, for your feedback. You made a good point.

  10. Charles says:

    The headline reads: “What Was Missed?”

    My fear is that: “Nothing Was Missed.”

    Sure, after the fact, every school paper written back in elementary school or madrasa; or an associate he once met; or a web site he once looked at, etc. etc will be inspected and someone will say: “See, there is evidence of possible radicalization.”

    But the reality is that — after the fact — evidence can be discovered (now that you know what you are looking for) in support of every surprise attack that was allegedly “no surprise at all” including Pearl Harbor.

    The fact is, every Saudi student was vetted to the same standards as the shooter, and until we develop a mind reading machine, we will never know which ones are “safe” and which ones pose a risk.

    And even those 100% safe can become “unsafe” if radicalized after the vetting process.

    I have seen credible reports that the actual trigger for the shooters anger was being mocked by an instructor, in the presence of other students, for having a “porn stache.”


  11. Club Manager, USA ret. says:

    All of these sonovabitches from those Muslim countries are cut from the same cloth and apparently no one in government has figured it out. They are also particularly sensitive to any remark which can be taken to reflect negatively on their heritage. This student was pissed about a nickname one of his instructors used. I had a run-in with an Iranian exchange student at Fort Lee, VA in 74′. He let me know his people were not “camel jockeys” and were thoroughly modern. I figure he was one of our embassy’s hostage takers. In the spirit of international relations, I refrained from telling him where to go and how to get there.

    • SFC D says:

      I made a spectacularly unsuccessful attempt at college in 1980. A lot of my aviation tech classmates were Iranian, mostly young Air Force officers. Unfortunately, it was the Shah’s Air Force and he died, leaving these guys well and truly fooked, pretty much facing death if they ever went home. We had some kind of minor demonstration going on one afternoon, apparently some Palestinian students had a beef with some Arab students or Lebanese or Cypriot or some damn thing, my Iranian friend looks over and says “Fucking camel jockeys. They don’t know how good they have it.” Damn near pissed myself laughing.

  12. TDG says:

    Has anything come of DOD DIRECTIVE 5210.56
    ARMING AND THE USE OF FORCE from November 18, 2016, which among other things “Provides guidance for permitting the carrying of privately owned firearms on DoD property by DoD personnel for personal protection purposes that are not associated with the performance of official duties”?

  13. SFC D says:

    Nope. Otherwise, I’d be under the protection of Saint John Moses Browning right now.

  14. docduracoat says:

    As a civilian gun enthusiast, I can understand why the base commander does not allow the average sailor to carry a loaded gun.
    Negligent discharges are surprisingly common.
    However, I understand that the base commander may allow some personnel to conceal carry personal firearms.

    Why not have motivated personnel with conceal carry permits have extra training and allow them to carry on base?
    He could even mandate empty chamber carry to prevent ND’s
    During the 10 minutes before the local police arrived, there was plenty of time to rack the slide and engage the terrorist.